Another remarkable aspect of Broadwell, and what it says about Petraeus

I’ve read about this before, but hadn’t focused on the meaning of it. Paula Broadwell was a first-time author, and her book was ghost-written. (Ghostwriter Victor Loeb worked with her for sixteen months.) Normally it’s celebrities and politicians who use a ghostwriter. Their books are desired by a publisher because they are in the public eye and have some story to tell, but they themselves are not writers. So they dictate their biography or their big thoughts to their ghostwriter, who turns the unformed material into a book. But a first-time author, a nobody like Paula Broadwell seeking to make a name for herself, using a ghostwriter? Wasn’t that enough to establish her as merely a climber, not a serious person? Not in David Petraeus’s mind. No sirree. Broadwell idolized him, and she was going to “write” a book that idolized him, and that was enough for him. It adds to the emerging picture of Petraeus as a tacky individual, a celebrity hound with no judgment—much like Broadwell herself.

In liberal America, which is their country not ours, even the most respected, most highly placed, most powerful individuals are of weak or low character. Or rather such individuals in particular are of weak or low character. Given the false and evil beliefs that liberal society requires of its ruling elite, it can be no other way.

- end of initial entry -

Paul K. writes:

That’s an odd new element and perhaps a revealing one. Broadwell brought in ghostwriter Vernon Loeb in July 2010, at the time Petraeus first went to Afghanistan with Broadwell trotting close behind him. Evidently, from the outset, she planned to have someone else write the book. Petraeus could have worked directly with the ghostwriter, but obviously he liked having Broadwell around and the book project gave them an opportunity to fraternize. This reinforces my suspicion that the affair began during this period, not after he took the helm at the CIA.

Jim Kalb writes:

It’s an odd situation but my impression is that in the present book publishing world the ostensible author is often just the promoter of a project. It’s easy enough to imagine an author using an investigator to do the legwork. This was an instance of an investigator, or at least someone with justified confidence in her ability to get access and info, using a writer to pull her findings together into a finished product. I suppose she could have presented the arrangement to Peters as a partnership.

James R. writes:

May I suggest a slight modification? It isn’t just another remarkable aspect of Broadwell, and it isn’t just what it says about Petraeus.

It’s another remarkable aspect of the place in which we live that an unknown nobody can get a ghostwriter, a publishing house will publish “her” book, and college campi will invite her to speak as an expert on subjects on the basis of “her” book, treated as a scholarly venture.

I mean, it’s one thing when someone like John F. Kennedy buys a reputation for intellectual seriousness using his money and a ghostwriter. But, again, the dial has been turned to 11 when a non-entity achieves the same feat.

That’s gotta say something about more than just Petraeus. I’m just sayin’.

(Oh wait—thought of at the last second right before I hit Send! This aspect isn’t even a new low! Remember the famous Rigoberta Menchu? The only difference being nobody would have had an affair with Rigoberta. I’m just sayin’.)

November 16

Gintas writes:

James R wrote: ” … college campi … “

I see this kind of stuff in technical forums. I call it Dorkspeak, because it’s pushed by nerds, as insider jargon. Examples:

Singular: Forum. Plural: Forums. Dorkspeak Plural: Fora.

Singular: Virus. Plural: Viruses. Dorkspeak Plural: Virii. (This invariably starts a tangent about Latin and which is the correct plural.)

Singula: Box. Plural: Boxes. Dorkspeak Plural: Boxen.

Campi, though, is new to me.

LA replies:

I left it in because his use of the seemingly correct Latin form where ordinarily it is not used struck me as whimsical and fun. We don’t always have to be perfectly correct. Language has an element of fun and play.

Gintas replies:
Then you should have “corrected” it to “campii.” ;-)

See Wikipedia on plural forms of words ending in “us”.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 15, 2012 07:26 PM | Send

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